Sometimes you know that your time is up, and this is that time. It’s time to hang up my blogging ‘shoes’. I have been blogging on this site for just over three years. It’s been a great ride. Well most of it, anyway.
In the few years before I reached my 40th birthday (a ‘few’ years ago) I was somewhat addicted to long distance running. This was very definitely a stint of over-exercising for me. Tell me that I was a “jogger” as some people liked to call themselves, and I was offended. I was a serious runner, in it for the long haul… literally.
I wasn’t much into events. Running with masses of people destroyed the peace of running for me. I did a few races but it just wasn’t for me. However my great aim was to run in the Christchurch Marathon in 2005.
I did it, but only just. Within the first kilometre I pulled my right hamstring. Stubbornness (and addiction) kicked in, and although I was in an extreme amount of pain, I decided to keep running. Actually I was used to running in pain. My knees never coped with long-distance running.
I was doing the half marathon so only had around 20 kilometres to go. Of course, the further I ran the worse the pain got. I never got to that “break through the wall” stage, but I simply kept running.
At the beginning of the last lap, the bell was sounding, just in case I didn’t know I was on my last lap. Oh, I knew. By then I was counting every metre, but the sound of the bell told me I just had to run through this park and down the road to the finish line.
I did it. I couldn’t walk for the next three days. But I did it.
I admit that this past year of blogging has been a little like that for me, sadly. I was somewhat addicted. I have loved blogging but I had hit some issues that were creating pain.
You see, as you will realise I have been blogging under my own name. That has been very important to me, for a number of reasons but perhaps mostly because I have always believed that until we can speak out in our own names, we won’t crush the stigma of mental illness.
Ok, so I admit defeat (for now).
It’s not so much outright stigma that hit me, but the very real difficulty of protecting the privacy of those I care about. That wasn’t just my family, but those who were having an impact on my life, and that I wanted to include in my writing here. Mostly I just couldn’t, unless (as you would have witnessed on a number of occasions) I wrote a very vague, cryptic post. Sometimes that worked. Sometimes it didn’t.
Stigma came in as a second issue, in ways that I hadn’t expected. Stigma is so much more than a public issue. It is also very personal,painful and sometimes used against us in ways that anyone even realises. That’s no excuse, but it is a very real explanation of some things that have gone on for me, particularly in the past year.
Calling it quits to blogging on this site is really difficult. My site is me. Do you know that feeling? It’s me in so many ways, but now I leave it. It is something that I have considered long and hard. Unfortunately it is my only sensible choice. I have been silenced (for want of a better word).
To my readers, and perhaps particularly those who have followed this blog for a considerable amount of time, I want to say thank you. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your comments. Thank you too, for the ‘likes’. Whatever way you have opted to interact with me, thank you. You are the people who made blogging worthwhile. Thank you for making blogging an amazing experience for me.
So what of the future? I don’t know where the future will take me. I simply have to admit that this race is finished. My feet (and my hamstring) are sore, but there is a future (somewhere) ahead. Time will tell where that future will lead.
“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World